Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2014 Reviews - Part 1

Last week, I came into possession of the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 12-pack, with each beer being a collaboration from different breweries all over the country. This 3-part series will cover each beer included in the said 12-pack with my score underneath each beer.

Now the reason why I'm not giving each beer it's own separate review is because each beer is a one-off collaboration, meaning that it won't be brewed again; With the exception of Hoptimum which was originally a "Beer Camp" beer. Since these are twelve beers that will never be brewed again, I figured it would be more efficient this way.

Electric Ray India Pale Lager (8.5 % ABV) - Brewed in collaboration with Ballast Point Brewing. The flavor is very citrus hop forward but with a solid pale malt sweetness as opposed to a caramel/toffee maltiness. The aftertaste is quite bitter with some grapefruit and citrus hop notes. IPLs tend to be around the 5-6% ABV range so this is definitely strong for it's category. However the alcohol content is masked quite well and the flavor, while not complex, is quite robust and tasty. I could see this being a regular visitor in my fridge if it weren't a one-time only offering.

Verdict - 8.5/10

Alt Route Altbier (6.6% ABV) - Brewed in Collaboration with Victory Brewing Company. Pours a solid ruby red color. This is a very malt forward beer in terms of flavor with caramel malts, roasted barley, a bit of dark fruitiness and a surprisingly bitter hoppy finish. Nothing terribly special in terms of flavor when it comes to the style, but it's quite good nonetheless.

Verdict - 8/10

Tater Ridge Scottish Ale (7.0% ABV) - Brewed in collaboration with the Asheville Brewers Alliance. This ruby red colored beer has a distinct bitter hoppiness on the front of the palate with a roasted barley & chocolate taste. There is also some light grassiness and another type of bitterness that isn't of the hoppy variety which I'm assuming is the potatoes used in the brewing process. My only exposure to potato based beers is from Indeed Brewing with their Sweet Mama Jamma, which I found to be very good. As for this beer, it's balanced in terms of flavor but I'm not really a fan of it at the same time. I'd rather just have a regular Scottish Ale instead.

Verdict - 6/10

There and Back English Style Bitter (5.6 % ABV) - Brewed in collaboration with New Glarus Brewing. Pouring a hazy orange color. The front of the taste has a maramalade-like sweetness to it, some pale malts and a bitter finish. Like the Altbier, it's a pretty standard English Bitter that tastes good and is drinkable. The only thing that makes this beer stand out is the higher-than-normal ABV level (most English Bitters fall into the <5% range.)

Verdict - 8/10

I hope you all enjoyed the first part of this series. Stay tuned for the next part which'll be posted tomorrow night. If you are still able to get "Beer Camp" in your area, I would highly recommend checking this out!


- Nick

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